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Environment & Energy

Wildflower Planting Project Is Saving Taxpayers Millions in Mowing

a photo of a field with Pollinator Project sign
SARAH TAYLOR
/
WKSU
A sign identifies a field along I-76 at SR 43 in Kent as part of the Ohio Pollinator Project.

If you drive Ohio highways you may have noticed more flowers and taller grass on the side of the road.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has begun planting wildflowers along highways across the state with the goal of creating habitats for pollinators.

Each site requires $400 to get started, but ODOT press secretary Matt Bruning said the project will save Ohio taxpayers millions.

“Just last year, we’ve already saved about $2.28 Million in just reducing our mowing of these areas, and that number’s going to continue to grow as we continue to expand these.”

Bruning also said it's important to create these habitats for pollinators.  

Wildflower Planting Project Is Saving Taxpayers Millions in Mowing
Encouraging pollination has healthy benefits.

“It benefits the butterflies and the bees and those pollinators that are essential to our food supply.”

Habitats have already been planted in 45 counties across Ohio. The goal is to eventually have them in all 88 counties in Ohio. Bruning said, while you can stop and smell the flowers, don’t pick them. That’s a violation of state law.